(6-0, 3-0 SEC) Tennessee upsets (6-1, 2-1 SEC) Alabama in a high-scoring affair.
This victory from Tennessee ended their 15-game losing streak against Saban's football powerhouse. Their last win against Alabama occurred in 2006.
How did the fans react? They definitely made a statement, that's for sure.
The fans stormed the field, tearing down the goalposts in the process. Tennessee's Twitter Account tweeted: "Y’all remember how we tore the goalposts down, hauled them out of Neyland, and dumped them in the Tennessee River? Yeah, that was awesome. Anywho, turns out that in order to play next week’s game, we need goalposts on our field. Could y’all help us out?"
Man, I love the South. The school hoped to raise $150,000 and got $80,000 within the first 24 hours. Not only is it egregious to tweet this from your main account, but they had some fun with how to contribute. The University suggested $52.49 (the final score) or $1.019.15 (the capacity at Neyland Stadium).
How did the SEC respond? They definitely made a statement, that's for sure.
The SEC fined the University $100,000. Fines typically range from $50,000 for a first offense and up to $100,000 for a second offense. This was Tennessee's second offense, the first occurring during a basketball game in 2006 against Florida. A third penalty would cause $250,000.
The SEC's policy states: "Access to competition areas shall be limited to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials, support personnel and properly-credentialed individuals at all times. For the safety of participants and spectators alike, at no time before, during or after a contest shall spectators be permitted to enter the competition area. It is the responsibility of each member institution to implement procedures to ensure compliance with this policy."
Was this fine reasonable? Hard to say. It is pretty clear they violated the SEC policy, but it could be argued that the publicity this football program is receiving was worth the financial penalty. According to Tennessee's national data to the NCAA, the athletic department generated $133 million in revenue, with $62.4 million coming from football. I chose law school to avoid math, but I think they should be fine.
Tennessee moves up to the No. 3 in the National Polls and Alabama moves down to No. 6. The Tennessee football program is for real this year.
Matthew Marino is a J.D. Candidate Elon University School of Law, 2023.